Shortly following the reveal of the trailer for the Slender Man movie, Sony has decided to reschedule the film’s release. Based on the internet urban legend of the child-snatching entity Slender Man, it was originally set to come out on 18th May, but has had its release date pushed back to 24th August.
Sony hasn’t given a reason for the choice but as this news follows the harshly critical reception of the trailer, it’s likely the studio are panicking about what they thought was a sure thing. The trailer has been lambasted as generic, not scary and not in keeping the monster’s Creepypasta mythos.
The film also came under controversy for allegedly capitalising on the 2014 Slender Man attack, in which two teenage girls stabbed their friend in an attempt to please the fictional creature. The father of one of the girls involved has come forward to criticise the film as “popularizing a tragedy” and “extremely distasteful”. His plea with Sony to cancel the film has garnered some support, with several cinemas even refusing to show the film.
Teens charged in Slender Man stabbing: Morgan Geyser (left), Anissa Weier (right)
So while it’s possible (but unlikely) that Sony are so confident in this film that they simply think it will do better as a summer blockbuster, it’s much more likely that they’re waiting for the movie’s negative press to blow over. Backlash will have likely died down in a couple of months, where the film will stand a better chance of success.
The reschedule leaves a roughly three month gap – enough time for editing or reshoots if Sony wishes to rework the story, though it seems like the damage is already done and there’ll be little salvaging this movie.
Directed by Sylvain White and starring Joey King, Julia Goldani Telles, and Annalise Basso, the film’s synopsis details:
“In a small town in Massachusetts, four high school girls perform a ritual in an attempt to debunk the lore of Slender Man. When one of the girls goes mysteriously missing, they begin to suspect that she is, in fact, HIS latest victim.”